Drivers are being warned that hanging an air freshener from their car’s rear view mirror could see them fined and handed penalty points.
Similarly, traditional decorations such as furry dice, flags and even window stickers could land you in trouble with the law, as could larger objects such as sat navs and mobile phones if they are affecting your view of the road.
The Highway Code states that windscreen and windows must be kept clear of obstructions to vision and the Road Traffic Act prohibits driving if the driver doesn’t have a full view of the road and traffic ahead.
So, although decorations aren’t specifically illegal, driving with anything obscuring your vision is and carries an on-the-spot £100 fine and three penalty points on your licence.
If you try to challenge the fine in court and are unsuccessful you could end up paying up to £1,000.
Rebecca Ashton, IAM RoadSmart head of driver behaviour, told the Sun: “Anything hanging from the rear-view mirror or anything placed on the windscreen could restrict the driver’s view, from air fresheners and dice hanging from the mirror to fans, large sat-navs and even using the navigation on an iPad.
“Missing something because you had something obscuring your view could potentially be extremely dangerous, seeing things early allows you to anticipate and plan how you deal with hazards.”
In its guidance on the subject, the Department for Transport sets out specific areas of a car’s windscreen that must be kept partially or completely clear of stickers and other items such as phone mounts and sat nav units.
Zone A is a vertical area 290mm wide, centred on the steering wheel and contained within the swept area of the windscreen. Nothing is allowed to encroach more that 10mm into this section
Zone B is the remainder of the swept area of the windscreen and nothing should encroach more than 40mm into this area.